We might be one step closer to mammoth rides at the local zoo or a strange Jurassic Park scenario.
During a recent expedition to an Arctic Ocean island, Russian scientists found the carcass of a female mammoth that they claim included well-preserved muscle tissue and liquid blood, which they now hope to use in ongoing efforts to clone the ancient animal.
“When we broke the ice beneath her stomach, the blood flowed out from there, it was very dark,” Professor Semyon Grigoryev, a scientist at the Yakutsk-based Northeastern Federal University, said. Grigoryev said the mammoth died at about age 60 sometime between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. The carcass ended up in a pool of water that eventually froze, leaving much of the lower body well preserved.
“This is the most astonishing case in my entire life. How was it possible for it to remain in liquid form? And the muscle tissue is also red, the colour of fresh meat,” Grigoryev said.
Now, with liquid blood and well-preserved muscle tissue that’s at least 10,000 years old, Grigoryev and company believe they’ve got a good chance of finding clonable genetic material.
“This find gives us a really good chance of finding live cells which can help us implement this project to clone a mammoth,” he said.
So, depending on how the rest of the research goes, we could be just a few years away from a live-action version of Ice Age.